Paper Soul

The way to my heart is not through diamond rings or expensive items. Lavishing me with flowers or cooking me a good meal. The road to my heart is paved with Paper Towns lined in Harry Potter and maintained by Aldous Huxley. Sometimes it can be dark like Gone Girl or full adventure like Percy Jackson. Find me in the stories that have helped define who I am. Understand me through the characters and see my world through their struggles. I will give any genre a try because i love discovering great new authors and books. I love to discuss anything literary, so feel free to comment on anything.

 

Professional ReaderFirst To Read 

10 Book Reviews


 

 

 

Do you know what's real?

Legendary - Stephanie Garber

Its that time again to get lost in the story, let the game take over and experience Caraval. Before you decide to immerse yourself in the plot and characters remember it's all just a game…… or is it. For Tella, this Caraval may not be a fun experience but have dire consequences. Not just for her but for everyone involved in Caraval. Can Tell separate herself from a preset destiny she saw as a child or make her own future to save her mother and one true love? This time Caraval isn't just for fun but to discover your own destiny.

 

Pro:

 

  • Tella…. Oh, Tella. I have to say that from both the sisters, I can relate to Tella the most. The rebellious and closed of girl who thinks her future has already been foretold. She fights against her feelings and tries to keep her emotions in check so she can try and recover her mother. She is playing a game that may be playing her. She is everything in a protagonist I want. Feisty, temperament, emotional, courageous and grows within the story. She is the opposite of her cautious sister and refuses to play by anyone's rules. She leaps before she looks which makes her a great player in Caraval. She is a bit selfish in how she thinks and can override other people's emotions and well being but these flaws only add to Tella’s dimension. Then there is Dante, the rebel without a cause, the only man who can undo Tella. Dante had me at the tip of his finger, he was the villain with a villains heart. Oh, and the knight in shining armor to rescue the day and sweep Tella off her feet! Yeah, there isn't one because Jacks is just as sinister as everyone else. All the main characters are strong and unyielding in how they approach situations. Which makes the interactions that much more intense.
  • I've never read much about the Fates and enjoyed the Tim Burton style they are portrayed in. These are not the Greek Gods that wield power over mankind and will show mercy to a deserving soul. The Fates are ruthless and only desire power and human entertainment. Human entertainment in the form of pain and suffering. I enjoyed these darker entities and how they added darkness to the story.
  • So there is a love story and triangle of sorts. It was a refreshing take on how love can be given and taken. There are different dimensions of love that were portrayed; a daughters love, true love, and the first love to break a heart. The true love is not what I expected and it was the love of an equal rather than lust and the usual romance take.  This gave the characters more room to develop and not lean too much on the emotional side. Tella especially fought will all these.

 

Con

  • Garber has a way of uniquely describing situations, emotions, and landscapes. They do provoke certain images and senses yet at times they tend to go a little far……

 

Quotes

  • Your Future can be whatever you wish. We all have the power to choose our own destiny.
  • Love turned the world into a garden, so beguiling it was easy to forget that rose petals were as ephemeral as feelings, eventually, they wilt and die, leaving nothing but thorns
  • Once a fortune is foretold, that future becomes a living thing and it will fight very hard to bring itself about
  • But nothing felt like Death, except Death
  • If you can convince yourself it’s true, you can convince anyone
  • That’s what I would want, someone who would give me a piece of himself rather than scraps of fabric
  • It was terrifying how such a small thing could hold so much power
  • Monsters are going to be given power no matter how this story ends
  • He was like a moment in time; he could be experienced but never held on to
"Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat."

Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison

This came in the mail today.......
This came in the mail today.......

 

I also bought the epub....

 

Because you know, a phone is less conspicuous than a 400-page hardback book

 

 

Which Girl Do You Know?

A Girl Like That - Tanaz Bhathena

That girl. The one all the rumors are about. The ones that involve the boys, drinking and other taboo actions. What do you really know about her? Do you know the image that is constructed by the rumors, the hushed voices, and the glares? Or do you know the girl who wants to be accepted for who she really is? Which version do you Choose to know and interact? How do different versions of the same story portray the same person?

 

Pro:

 

  • The protagonist Zarin is a courageous and complex character. Her story is told by her own voice and those of her boyfriends and classmates. Each version does not exactly relate to the story Zarin tells of herself. She is so closed off because of the labels her past has placed on her involuntary. She immediately decides to fully embrace her tainted reputation and embrace the status thrust upon her. She feels broken and misunderstood to the point that she may not even understand herself. At times she is ruthless and unempathetic with the people around her to the point of cruel. But as you get to know her, this is a way to hide her true self and the constant pain she undergoes. We have all been there, the rumor, the whisper, that person that people stare at. Yet she seems to be able to handle what is thrown at her with a sense of broken grace which makes her relatable.
  • Bhathena touches on many sensitive subjects such as rape, drugs, abuse and male privilege. Many books have touched on these subjects but Bhathena adds another layer to these subjects by adding religion to the mix. Bhathena places her story in Mumbai and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia which adds the cultural restrictions of the Middle East. Zarin navigates through her culture by going against the grain. Fully embracing what is taboo and looked down on in her community and culture. From the simplest actions as smoking to riding in cars with boys, she rebels. The bullying that Zarin goes through is not stopped or disciplined but it seems rather as a way to make Zarin conform. Through the eyes of all the female students, male privilege and sexual assault are always hanging over them. Pressuring them to hide and submit. It is interesting to see a culture and society that is so different from America. It was interesting to read about a culture in which the protagonist was Americanized but fully apart of the culture.

 

Con

 

  • There are several voices in the novel. All depict a different version of Zarin and the world she lives in. Showing how society works for different genders and economic levels. This gives the story depth and perspective in how individuals view others differently. This was interesting although Zarin’s voice and the story seemed to get lost through other people’s perspectives. This may have been the intention of Bhathena, in displaying how people’s perceptions can create a story for a person and unrealistic histories or expectations. At the end of the story, I was left with a bittersweet connection with Zarin. I wanted to know more about her and how she came to be.

 

Quotes

  • Memories can be like splinters, digging into you when you least expect them to, holding tight and sharp the way wood did when it slid under a fingernail.
  • Talking.. Only led to a revelation of secrets
  • If you could make a girl laugh, you could make her yours
  • A person’s home tells you a lot about who they are
  • People came into our lives, people left
  • Stories… would always change the course of our lives, the greatest ones being retold over and over again not to simply convey morals or life lessons, but to bring people together.
  • You can never lie to another lier
  • To live in this world, you need to follow a certain set of rules and behave in ways society deemed appropriate.
  • Because a bird only learns to fly when its wings are broken
  • Love is more important than anything else in the world. And you deserve love as much as anyone else
"Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.

"

- Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck

Reading progress update: I've read 21%.

Geekerella - Ashley Poston

A girl just wanting her favorite fandom done right... I get you, girl...I do ... I really do

Reading progress update: I've read 81%.

Legendary - Stephanie Garber

I think I maybe caught up in the game....because I don't know what is real!!!!

 

Tacos or Nuts

This is a Taco - Josh Shipley, Andrew Cangelose

What is a Taco? Most people would think of a delicious Mexican food, but not in this case. Taco is a squirrel who loves TACOS! This adorable squirrel takes the reader on a kind of tour in the forest. Giving bits and pieces of knowledge about squirrels, peppered with humor to keep the storyline light and fun. Taco, himself, is a great protagonist for young children to become absorbed with. They will read and learn at the same time while laughing the whole way. The illustrations are beautiful and artistic but keep the reader's age in mind. By keeping the illustrations accurate but also adding a little imagination to them. This would make a great book to read along with a young child.

Reading progress update: I've read 3%.

Legendary - Stephanie Garber

I GOT AN ARC from Netgalley for LEGEN...... wait for it DARY!!!!! I'm so excited, I loved Caraval. 

 

 

Now everyone leave me alone so I can read!!! I may have to take a personal day or *cough cough cough* call in sick ha ha ha

 

Reading progress update: I've read 300 out of 384 pages.

A Girl Like That - Tanaz Bhathena

This is not at all what I was expecting......

Tale of Two Lives

Lies You Never Told Me - Jennifer Donaldson

Elyse and Gabe have never met but are tied by destiny. They tell the story of their lives in parallel narratives, sharing their secrets little by little. Elyse is entering a forbidden relationship and may be repeating her mother's footsteps. Gabe finally realizes that the relationship he is in may be more dangerous than he thought.  Each will have to decide if the path they are on is the right one or beginning a new one is work their lives.

 

Pro:

 

  • Gabe and Elyse are enduring characters and it was a pleasurable experience to get to know them. I did like hat Gabe was not the Hispanic kid from the wrong side of the tracks who is dating the popular girl. Yet, he comes from a wealthy and educated family who loves him, with a sister who has a developmental disability adds to the dimensions of his story.. This is a character that does not get told as a protagonist much in contemporary literature. Elyse as well does not come from a  typical family background. Her mother is an addict and must be an adult faster than she should. It was interesting to see how stories unfold.
  • The tempo of the story is a steady unfolding. At the start, it is a little hard to move along with because of the missing connection between both characters. I was constantly guessing who the had done what and how the stories were connected.

 

Con:

 

  • The character development is a little shallow throughout the whole book. I had wanted a little more depth into the characters, the story would have been more well rounded. Elyse and the strained relationship with her mother’s addiction could have been explained more. As well as Gabe's family life and heritage compared to his girlfriends. The plot twist was interesting at the end but it took away from what the book could have expanded on and explored. Throughout the whole time, I just had a why these two question and it frustrated me a bit that it took so long to connect. More could have been done to make the plot twist not so predictable or give another twist that could have enhanced the plot.

Sticks and Stones

Vox - Christina Dalcher

How many words do you use in an hour? A day? A week? What if you could only use 100 words a day? Would you use them more wisely, or suffer the consequences of the 100-word rule? For Jean and her daughter Sonia, this is their reality. They must use their words wisely and so does every woman in the near future of the US. Yet, Jean gives the change to regain her voice but it comes at a price. A price that may silence everyone in the process. Will she allow a whole race to be silence for a brief period to regain her own?

 

Pro:

 

With the current political environment, this book seems to bring a realistic future of what it could be like for women. Recently, women have stopped the silencing of their voice. Through such movements as MeToo and literature/media as a Handmaid’s Tale. Bringing into focus the unequal balance between a male and a female as well as the roles they should play. Breaking the patriarchal hegemony rules that are placed upon them, in which a female's point of view is not valid. Dalcher also touches on situations of women having a chance to have a voice and choose to not use them. This can be through cultural domestication or passive naiveness.

 

 

  • Dalcher choices a strong and educated woman to be the lead protagonist. Jean is a headstrong linguistic scientist, who was on the verge of making a scientific breakthrough. The storyline follows her struggles of being silenced and having to be subordinate to her husband. The everyday struggles of what happens when someone can not voice how they feel or defend themselves. Not being able to soothe a child, speak of their day or even vent about a problem. Through this process, she realizes how much speaking in any form is vital to how a person views themselves.
  • Jean is a strong and educated woman, but like many women do not participate heavily in politics. She was not blind to what was going on and how the government environment changed for the worse. She chooses to believe that it would never happen., that her voice or actions could not influence in any way. Jackie is her polar opposite, the activist and headstrong political leader. She symbolizes the anti-culture in the book; outspoken, educated and lesbian. She refuses to conform and is the moral compass of Jean. Trying to make her realize that only you can give up your voice.

 

Con:

 

  • The book is very aggressive in the view of how the 100-word count is implicated. Picking a conservative religious group and leader. Although this is not a new premise, the way it is presented is a little harsh, although I do not know if that is the correct word to use. Maybe a point of view from another side would have made the story feel less one-sided.
  • Jean has an affair with a coworker. Although this relationship has a means to an end for Jean and a closing to the book, I didn’t really like her affair. The plot gave much reason to why she did what she did. Her home life was not a happy one and she felt disjointed from her kids because she could not participate in their lives like the father. Also, she had been stripped of all her merits and hard work. Yet I felt like the affair was a kind of cop-out.

 

Quotes:

  • A lascivious action made tender by the gentleness
  • I have words now, but I have no idea how to use them
  • Memory is a damnable faculty
  • Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.
"“Read. Travel. Read. Ask. Read. Learn. Read. Connect. Read.”

- Dr. Seuss"
"“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.”

-Dr. Seuss"
"“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.”

– Frank Serafini"
"“I think it’s the books that you read when you’re young that live with you forever.”

– J.K. Rowling"

Currently reading

A Reaper at the Gates
Sabaa Tahir
Progress: 5 %

2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Angelica has read 8 books toward her goal of 50 books.
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